ILR School

Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution

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“Educating the Next Generation of Neutrals and Practitioners”

The Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution at Cornell University promotes interdisciplinary education, research and training in dispute resolution for students, academics, neutrals and practitioners.

The Institute builds on the Cornell ILR School’s proud tradition of instruction in the practical use of conflict resolution skills in the workplace and beyond.

In support of its mission, the Scheinman Institute's principal activities involve:

  • Undergraduate and graduate courses and degrees
  • Training and certificate programs for neutrals and professionals
  • Consultation and technical assistance to practitioners and neutrals
  • Scholarly and empirical research and evaluation
  • Conferences, symposia and workshops

In Cornell’s ILR School, the Institute continues its focus on programs dealing with workplace dispute resolution. Through its joint program with the Cornell Law School and relationships with the other Cornell colleges, the Institute addresses commercial, environmental, international, regulatory and other conflicts that arise in the public, private and non-profit sectors as well as in complex litigation where creative conflict resolution can have a meaningful impact.

In all of its activities, the Institute is committed to promoting diversity, cross-cultural understanding and equal opportunities for individuals without regard to race, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability or other protected characteristics.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 73
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    2022 NAA Member Survey: Diversity, Practice Characteristics and Remote Technologies
    Katz, Harry; Colvin, Alexander; Avgar, Ariel; Nobles, Katrina; Gough, Mark (Cornell University, ILR School, Scheinman Institute, 2023-02)
    In this report, we investigate the professional characteristics, perceptions, and decision-making processes of National Academy of Arbitrators (NAA) neutrals. The survey frame consisted of all NAA members. We administered the survey questionnaire starting in fall 2021 and continuing in 2022 using a combined web-based and physical mailing method. For the web-based administration, neutrals received an initial email requesting their participation with a link to the web-based survey instrument, as well as two follow-up reminders. We then mailed paper copies of the survey to those who requested a physical copy. This combination of web-based and traditional hard-copy mailing yielded [289] useable responses from NAA members, representing a response rate of [43 percent]; this is a respectable response rate and is in line with previous surveys of NAA members.
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    The Arbitration Profession in Transition: A Survey of the National Academy of Arbitrators
    Picher, Michel; Seeber, Ronald L.; Lipsky, David B. (2000-01-01)
    [From the Foreward]: That the experience, talents, and integrity of the members of the National Academy of Arbitrators are called on to resolve disputes beyond collective bargaining is not surprising. But The Arbitration Profession in Transition shows that this process is far more widespread, and is accelerating, beyond what most of us had speculated. The study provides the baseline for the new century as to the role of Academy members in the expanding use of ADR in employment and in conflicts concerning statutory rights. It is also a remarkable census of who the Academy is, notable for the extraordinarily high participation and cooperation of those studied. It has been compiled with dedication, care, and skill. It is more than a snapshot of a profession; it is an image worthy of contemplation as the Academy, and the users of arbitration and mediation, continue their quest for fairness and equity in the workplace. John Kagel, President –elect, National Academy of Arbitrators, June 1, 2000.
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    The Appropriate Resolution of Corporate Disputes: A Report on the Growing Use of ADR by U.S. Corporations
    Lipsky, David B.; Seeber, Ronald L. (1998-01-01)
    A quick scan of the business and legal press reveals that, compared with a few years ago, many more disputes are being resolved through negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. The change is an incremental one, on the upper end driven by costly, difficult cases involving business risks that have called for the innovative handling of dispute resolution processes, and on the everyday level driven by the need for lower-cost, streamlined ways to handle growing numbers of ordinary disputes. Policy makers at all levels of government have encouraged this trend. Accompanying this public policy movement, increasing numbers of law firms and corporate legal departments are establishing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practice sections, acquiring expertise or hiring experts in dispute resolution. Many corporations are encouraging the use of ADR not only where it has traditionally been used but also to solve an ever-widening range of conflicts between the corporation and other businesses, individuals, and government agencies. In each of these relationships, it appears that the overwhelming costs of litigation have pushed corporations toward increasing their use of ADR processes. This growing trend and the widespread need for information about appropriate means of resolving corporate disputes motivated us to conduct the survey reported on here.
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    APPR Teacher Appeals Process Report
    Colvin, Alexander; Klingel, Sally; Boehme, Simon (2014-05-01)
    [Excerpt] The Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) is the new teacher evaluation system adopted by New York State in 2012. Through APPR, each New York State teacher’s performance is evaluated annually. If a teacher is rated Ineffective, he or she must take part in a Teacher Improvement Plan (TIP). If a teacher is rated Ineffective for two consecutive years, the teacher may be dismissed even if that teacher has tenure. Given these potential consequences, the ability to appeal APPR ratings and how those ratings are conducted has been a major issue for teachers and their unions. Under New York Education Law 3012-c, which establishes APPR, each school district negotiates its own APPR procedure with its local teachers union, including any procedures for appealing the performance review. This report examines the APPR appeals procedures established by school districts in order to investigate the following: Which aspects of the APPR process can teachers appeal? Who has the fi nal say in that appeals process? How much time do appeals processes take? Can teachers appeal APPR issues through the regular contractual grievance-arbitration procedure? This report addresses these questions by analyzing APPR appeal procedures for all New York State school districts. The data analyzed was gathered by coding the provisions of the APPR appeal procedures, which are publicly available on the New York State Department of Education website (1).
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    New York State Teacher Salary Report
    Colvin, Alexander; Klingel, Sally; Boehme, Simon; Donovan, Susanne (2013-12-01)
    Teachers are central to the success of any education system and the salaries paid to teachers are among the most important issues for both school districts and the unions that represent teachers. For school districts, teacher salaries are a major com- ponent of district budgets. Teacher salary levels are also a crucial factor in attracting and retaining quality educators. This report presents data on teacher salary levels based on teacher contracts throughout New York State. In addition to reporting overall statewide salary levels, it also documents the wide variation in teacher salary levels across New York State. This New York State Teacher Salary Report was prepared by the Bargaining for Better Schools (BBS) project, which is an initiative of the ILR School at Cornell University through the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution and the Worker Institute. The data provided in this report comes from an analysis of the teacher contracts from every school district in the State of New York. The database of information came from two sources, both of which are publicly available on websites: DigitalCommons at ILR and SeeThroughNY, each of which contain the full text of teacher contracts, i.e. collective bargaining agreements and asso- ciated memoranda of understanding. The most recent contract from either website was selected for inclusion in this data.
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    APPR Appeals Process Report: Panels
    Colvin, Alexander; Klingel, Sally; Johnson, Honore (2015-02-01)
    [Excerpt] This report describes the characteristics of joint panels and examines where they are being used in New York State to resolve APPR teacher evaluation disputes. The information presented here was gathered by analyzing the provisions of the APPR appeal procedures, which are publicly available on the New York State Department of Education website.
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    Facilitating Conflict Resolution in Union-Management Relations: A Guide for Neutrals
    Chaykowski, Richard; Cutcher-Gershenfeld, Joel; Kochan, Thomas A.; Merchant, Christina Sickles (2001-01-01)
    Over fifty years ago George Taylor, one of the most highly respected labor-management neutrals of his time, called for third parties to take on what he termed "a mantle of responsibility for labor-management relations." Today, wide ranges of practitioners are assuming this responsibility. They are playing a variety of internal and external roles, as labor arbitrators, mediators, consultants, facilitators, dispute system designers, leaders serving on joint committees, and countless others. These individuals strive to rise above the partisan pressures that are found in any union-management relationship by helping to resolve disputes, foster problem solving, and build new institutional relations. In doing so, they are helping the institution of collective bargaining adapt in ways necessary for it to continue to be a key societal element into the next century. As dispute resolution professionals, we need to understand the range of practices now found in different relationships, the types of roles neutrals might play, and the principles that should guide neutrals as they carry out these roles. The purpose of this report, therefore, is to outline principles for SPIDR members, other neutrals, and the parties who utilize the services of third party neutrals in contemporary labor-management relations. Specifically, we have three target audiences in mind: labor relations neutrals, steeped in the institutional nuances of industrial relations (primarily arbitrators and mediators), who are being challenged to help parties adapt to new circumstances; third-party neutrals experienced in settings outside of labor relations who are or will be working with parties in unionized settings; internal facilitator sand change agents (from labor or management) who are helping to solve problems and resolve disputes in the workplace. Some points in this report may be completely obvious to one part of the target audience but an essential caution to another. Some of the recommendations will be controversial since they reflect an activist view of third-party roles. Importantly, this is not an overall guide to best practice for labor-management relations; instead, it is a guide to the role of dispute resolution professionals in the labor-management context. We hope that it stimulates further constructive dialogue in the profession.
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    Designing Integrated Conflict Management Systems: Guidelines for Practitioners and Decision Makers in Organizations
    Institute on Conflict Resolution; Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution (2001-01-01)
    A committee of the ADR (alternative dispute resolution) in the Workplace Initiative of the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution (SPIDR) prepared this document for employers, managers, labor representatives, employees, civil and human rights organizations, and others who interact with organizations. In this document we explain why organizations should consider developing integrated conflict management systems to prevent and resolve conflict, and we provide practical guidelines for designing and implementing such systems. The principles identified in this document can also be used to manage external conflict with customers, clients, and the public. Indeed, we recommend that organizations focus simultaneously on preventing and managing both internal and external conflict. SPIDR recognizes that an integrated conflict management system will work only if designed with input from users and decision makers at all levels of the organization. Each system must be tailored to fit the organization's needs, circumstances, and culture. In developing these systems, experimentation is both necessary and healthy. We hope that this document will provide guidance, encourage experimentation, and contribute to the evolving understanding of how best to design and implement these systems.
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    An Evaluation of the New York State Workers’ Compensation Pilot Program for Alternative Dispute Resolution
    Seeber, Ronald L.; Schmidle, Timothy P.; Smith, Robert S. (2001-12-01)
    In 1995, the State 0f New York enacted legislation authorizing the establishment of a workers' compensation alternative dispute resolution pilot program for the unionized sector of the construction industry. Collective bargaining agreements could establish an alternative dispute resolution process for resolving claims (including but not limited to mediation and arbitration), use of an agreed managed care organization or list of authorized providers for medical treatment that constitutes the exclusive source of all medical and related treatment, supplemental benefits, return-to-work programs, and vocational rehabilitation programs. The legislation also directed the School ofIndustrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University (ILR) to "evaluate compliance with state and federal due process requirements provided in the collective bargaining agreements authorized by this act, and the use, costs and merits of the alternative dispute resolution system established pursuant to this act." In response to this legislative mandate, ILR reviewed the research previously conducted on alternative dispute resolution (ADR), generally, and in workers' compensation. This included examining the purported advantages and disadvantages of ADR, the prevalence of ADR, and published statistical or anecdotal evidence regarding the impact of ADR. ILR created a research design for claimant-level and project-level analyses, and developed data collection instruments for these analyses that included an injured worker survey for ADR claimants and claimants in the traditional (statutory)workers' compensation system, an Ombudsman's log, a manual of data elements pertaining to ADR and comparison group claimants, and interview questions for ADR signatories and other officials. The findings in this report draw upon a comparison of claimant-level, descriptive statistics (averages) for injured workers in the ADR and traditional (statutory) workers' compensation system; the results of more sophisticated, statistical analyses of claimant-level data; and project-level information (including, but not limited to, interviews with ADR signatories and dispute resolution officials).
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    Social Capital and the Labor Movement
    Lipsky, David B.; Seeber, Ronald L. (2008-01-01)
    [Excerpt] The causes and consequences of the decline of the American labor movement over recent decades have been examined in countless books and articles. Scholars and commentators, however, have virtually ignored one critical dimension. In this chapter, we focus on the social capital implications of the relative decline of the labor movement. There are several definitions of the term social capital. For our purposes, a relevant definition has been provided by the World Bank: 'Social capital refers to the institutions, relationships, and norms that shape the quality and quantity of a society's social interactions... Social capital is not just the sum of the institutions which underpin a society - it is the glue that holds them together.' The concept of social capital can be traced to the early part of the twentieth century and was implicitly used by philosophers as early as the eighteenth century. But recent research on social capital has been triggered largely by the work of Robert Putnam, especially his seminal books, Making Democracy Work (Putnam, 1993) and Bowling Alone (Putnam, 2000; Coleman, 1990; Adler and Kwon, 2002; Portes, 1998).